None of the networks sent a reporter to Brussels for the formal release of the report by the UN panel. It is the second in a series of three reports on climate change: this one was on the harmful effects on the planet's ecosystems and on human society. CBS' Mark Phillips summed up the state of the debate: "The scientific argument about global warming is over. It is a political argument now."
A warming world will harm most "those least able to endure it--the poor," CBS' Phillips pointed out. The poor of sub-Saharan Africa face drought, crop failure and famine. The poor of the river deltas and shorelines of southern and eastern Asia face floods from rising ocean waters. ABC's Bill Blakemore (subscription required) warned that the oceans' coral reefs are endangered, too, as water grows more acidic. NBC's Anne Thompson quoted panel member Stephen Schneider: "Do not be poor in a hot country. Do not live in hurricane alley. Watch out about being on the coasts or in the Arctic." Yet Thompson found William Gray, the National Hurricane Center forecaster, who "disputes any link" between manmade global warming and an increased incidence of such storms.
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